The authors designed a conceptual framework based on a literature review of urban climate mitigation and reviewed mitigation–related documents from nine Swedish cities. They found a strong political will and solid targets but gaps in the plans and actions mostly related to transport, construction and food. Municipal governments use “soft” policy instruments to meet climate targets; at times, economic instruments contradict the vision. Their evaluation indicates a disconnect between intent and outcomes.

More regulatory instruments must be deployed to become climate-neutral, and economic incentives must be aligned with the vision. Understanding how climate mitigation strategies affect resources within the city will be necessary to ensure the acceptance and uptake of climate action plans. Collaboration with superordinate governments, within and outside national borders, will be essential to align on policy and policy instruments.